This is a great time of year to buy and eat all sorts of cuts of lamb, including offal. If you're conservative about the meat you eat you can just use the cutlets or rump or even chops. Lamb sausages are not so difficult to find in butcher's shops and farmers' markets, or you could simply spice up some minced lamb with salt and pepper, cumin and mint and/or oregano.
Caponata, with its sweet and sour flavours, is perfectly suited to grilled or roasted lamb. You can eat it hot or cold as a starter, a salad or part of a meze with flat bread. Here it's served hot.
4 lamb cutlets or chops
4 slices of lamb's liver weighing about 40-50g each, trimmed of any sinew
2 lamb's kidneys, halved and sinew removed
4 plumb lamb's sweetbreads or 8 smaller ones
4 sprigs of rosemary about 6cm long
4 small lamb sausages or 100g minced lamb
for the caponata
2 medium aubergines, cut into rough 1cm cubes
Vegetable oil for frying
4-5 sticks of celery, any stringy stalks peeled, cut into rough 1cm pieces
4-5tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 x 225g can of chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp caster sugar
75ml white wine vinegar
1tbsp grated dark chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids
40g salted capers, rinsed in cold water
12 large green olives, stoned and quartered
Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan until very hot and cook the aubergines in a couple of batches, stirring every so often, until they are golden then remove with a slotted spoon and dry on kitchen paper. Fry the celery pieces in the oil left in the pan, or a little more if necessary, and dry on kitchen paper.
Gently cook the onion in the olive oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, season and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan, add the chocolate, capers and olives and heat the mixture, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Add to the tomato mixture and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add the aubergines and celery to the sauce and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat a ribbed griddle plate, thick-bottomed frying pan or barbecue. Skewer a piece of sweetbread and half a kidney on to a stick of rosemary and season. Season the cutlets, lightly oil them and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side keeping them pink. Cook the sausages thoroughly.
Cook the sweetbreads and kidney for about a minute and a half to 2 minutes and the seasoned liver for just 30 seconds on each side.
Spoon the hot caponata on to the centre of warmed plates and arrange the lamb on top.Reuse content